Thursday, May 19, 2011

Duathlon - In Words and Pictures

Well, last week I did something I never thought I would actually do. I competed in a duathlon! It was the Palouse River Duathlon (2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run). I'd set a goal for myself to do more running this year and compete in at least 2 5k races and 1 10 k race, adding the bike was not in my plans, but my friend/sis-in-law, Angela, encouraged me to give it a try. Once I told my race-loving dad about the event, he wanted to do it too, and I couldn't back out.

It was tough and I had a good time and I'm glad I did it. Here are some pictures.

Here we are, me and my dad, all happy and confident before the race.

Me and Angela with her brother-in-law, Rob. He ended up placing really highly and pretty much rocked the race. You can read more about Rob's race here.

Me and Angela coming in at the end of the first run. Look, we're both still upright and (sort-of) smiling!

Right after switching to the bike. I was hoping the first part of the bike course would allow me some rest after clocking in my fastest two-mile run in years (19:35-ish. I hadn't had a less-that ten minute mile in a race since high school cross country) but instead I had just enough time to catch my breath before hitting the first hill on the bike course. On the last hill, between mile 8 and 9, I completely geared wrong while climbing and threw my bike chain. I was frustrated and mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake and I was shaking so badly that I couldn't put the chain back on myself. Fortunately, a good Samaritan stopped and helped me with the chain, even though her own race suffered for it.

My dad leaving the bike area for the 10 mile ride. It was mostly gravel with some killer hills. It took me about an hour and 10 minutes to complete the course. My dad was faster than me - lots faster. The gravel and steep hills didn't seem to bother him. We were told there were four hills. I dunno who was doing the counting, but there were WAAAY more than four hills.

Here I am at the start of the final run. Tired, red-faced and running ugly, but still running.

Here's my dad, all done crossing the finish line. He did an awesome job, beating his goal time of 1:30.

And here I am. Finally within spitting distance of the finish line. My goal was 2 hours and I came in at 1:51. Woooo-hoooo! Yup, I felt as tired and awful as I looked, but dang, it was good to be done.

Like I said before, I had never done anything like this before. I didn't really know what to expect and a lot of people finished before I did. There were definitely some seasoned runners and bikers in the race that knew what they were doing and recorded some insanely fast times. One thing I so appreciated though, was even the been-there-done-that athletes were gracious and encouraging to beginners like me. I certainly never felt looked down upon because of my obvious lack of race experience, in fact, several of the more seasoned competitors could be seen at the finish line, cheering on other racers. When I crossed the finish line, I was being cheered on by people I didn't even know. What a neat community!

As far as I understand, the race director wants to make this an annual event. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in here's this years website. There's also a facebook page you can check out. I know I'll be there next year. How about you?

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